Europe is our past and present, and it is our conviction that it is also our future.
Not only are we bound by a common European culture and history – and therefore form a common European people –, but we increasingly face challenges that none of us, as European nations, can solve separately. Our ability to ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for ourselves and coming generations depends on our ability to come together. EuropeanConstitution.eu was founded on the belief that a common constitution was a cornerstone element for the realisation of a united Europe, founded on stable and lasting ground.
In 2001, the Laeken Declaration empowered a group of experts with the drafting of a constitutional treaty for the consideration of Member States. In 2005, the resulting Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was ratified by 18 Member-States, but its rejection by referendum in France and the Netherlands marked its termination. It is our conviction that both the content and format of this constitutional treaty led to its downfall. With its four hundred and forty-eight articles, not only did it give everyone something to disagree with, but it tried too hard to set in stone all of the EU’s complexity. Simply put, it was unreadable.
In order to move away from such a poor example, we decided to propose our own version of what a European constitution might look like. It was our firm belief that constitutions could – and absolutely should – be simple and understandable. The result was a clear seven-article long constitution. We later created this website with the goal of presenting it to the general public in clear and simple terms.
Following this first activity, we decided to establish EuropeanConstitution.eu as an association dedicated to promoting the adoption of a European constitution, European federalism as an organising principle for our institutions, and European integration in general. In order to carry out this mission, EuropeanConstitution.eu later set up the Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration, as a way to reward concrete projects contributing to European integration. We also regularly carry out advocacy activities in favour of European federalism and a more integrated Europe.
From our work on the European constitution, we have retained one core lesson that we strive to implement in all our activities: make Europe understandable and tangible for citizens. Institutions can be complex, but they can also be explained in simple terms.
This is therefore our mission: help people understand Europe and give them the tools to discuss it.